PHOENIX, ARIZONA – Hunters start your computers – the fall hunting regulations have been posted on the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Web site at www.azgfd.gov/draw>www.azgfd.gov/draw.
You can now apply manually using paper permit applications for the remaining fall big game hunts.
Arizona Game and Fish Department officials said the newly posted regulations cover small game as well as the hunting seasons for deer, turkey, javelina, bighorn sheep, buffalo, bear and mountain lions, and establish season dates, bag and possession limits, permit numbers and open areas for the remaining 2008-09 seasons (elk and antelope hunt-permit tags have already been drawn).
The printed version of the 2008-09 regulations is expected to be shipped to license dealers throughout the state by the third week of May.
Don’t forget: the deadline to apply for the remaining permitted hunts is June 10 (the second Tuesday in June) at 7 p.m. MST – postmarks do not count.
Also keep in mind that there is still no online application process available – it is a manual paper-permit process again. However, you can even download a copy of the permit application at www.azgfd.gov/draw>www.azgfd.gov/draw and mail it in along with your check or money order (no cash please).
Be sure to apply by May 29 to take advantage of the APPLICATION GRACE PERIOD. During the grace period, if you make a mistake on your hunt-permit application, the Game and Fish Department will attempt to call you three times in a 24-hour period and give you the opportunity to correct the mistake. After that date, mistakes can cause your application to be rejected. So, go for the grace and avoid the deadline race.
Don’t forget, there are some changes this year on the hunting scene, especially for youth. The Arizona Game and Fish Commission established the first-ever over-the-counter turkey tags for youth in designated units.
In addition, the fall javelina hunts are now juniors-only. Those youth javelina hunts coincide with juniors-only antlered deer hunts in respective units.
The commission also approved a youth-only 600-permit antlerless deer season for Unit 12AW in response to continued high-fawn production on the Kaibab Plateau.
For the general fall turkey season, it is relegated to shotgun shooting-shot, and there are 6,100 permits, which is a 230-permit increase over 2007. Plus there are seven units (Hunt Unit 1, 6A, 8, 10, 12A, 23, and 27) with juniors-only seasons where over-the-counter nonpermit tags are being offered.
A significant change this year is the permitting of specific archery hunts based on a harvest apportioning formula. In units where archery season structure was down to a single early season and harvest exceeded 20-percent of the overall harvest, the commission established the first-ever archery draw permits.
The various small game hunts have also been set for a two-year period. The Gambel’s and scaled quail season opener will now be the first Friday in October each year. Mearns’ remains unchanged, with a season opener of Nov. 28 this year.
There is a longer tree squirrel season – it was increased five weeks – and it now closes on Dec. 31. In the past, the squirrel season has traditionally closed at the end of the Thanksgiving holiday. This new season gives everyone, especially youth, an opportunity to hunt squirrels during the holidays, especially the winter school break time.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, or disability in its programs and activities. If anyone believes that they have been discriminated against in any of the AGFD’s programs or activities, including employment practices, they may file a complaint with the Deputy Director, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086-5000, (602) 942-3000, or with the Fish and Wildlife Service, 4040 N. Fairfax Dr. Ste. 130, Arlington, VA 22203. Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation or this document in an alternative format by contacting the Deputy Director as listed above.
Rory AIkens (623) 236-7214